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3 Stretching Exercises to Help Relieve Lower Back Pain

Provided by AdvilĀ®

Maybe you’re guilty of having bad posture or perhaps you’ve pulled your back (Ouch!), but either way, you’ve ended up with the same result: pain in your lower back. You can help relieve some of that discomfort with these easy and calming stretching exercises. Speak with your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen—once your doctor gives you the okay, try these stretches in the morning and at night to bookend your day with moments of self-care

Stand Forward Bend

1. Begin by standing tall with your hands at your sides. Keep your shoulders lowered and relaxed. 

2. Slowly bend forward at the hips, bringing your head to your knees while sliding your hands down your legs toward the floor. Your legs should have a slight bend at the knees. If you can, grasp the backs of your thighs or calves with your hands. Otherwise, rest your hands on a yoga block or something else elevated from the floor.

3. Hold the pose for 10 seconds. As you continue to practice this stretch, work up to holding this pose for one minute.

Cat-Cow Pose

1. Start on all fours, with your hands firmly on the ground and your thighs forming a 90-degree angle to your calves. Your spine should be neutral and parallel to the floor.

2. Exhale and gently round your back, pulling your belly button toward the ceiling. At the same time, tuck your chin toward your chest.

3. Inhale and arch your back, releasing your belly button toward the floor. Lift your chin up as you move your gaze skyward. This is one rep.

4. Work up to 10 reps total. Flow gently and easily, and stop the exercise if any portion of the stretch hurts.

Knee to Chest Stretch

1. Start by lying flat on your back.

2. Bend your right knee and slowly move it toward your chest, grasping your knee with both hands if you can. Stop the stretch if you feel any tightening or pain.

3. Hold for five counts, then return to starting position.

4. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with the left leg to complete one rep.

5. Work up to five reps total.

Find other great health and wellness stories at MarthaStewart.com/Strive.